5 healthy eating tips for holiday travelers

At an increasing number of airports nationwide, more options for the health-conscious are on the menu.

Story highlights

  • Consumers are demanding healthier options when they fly
  • 76% of airport restaurants sell at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free entree
  • Planning ahead will help you avoid diet downfalls, experts say

(CNN)Eating healthy on the road has long been a struggle for holiday travelers. It's one of the many reasons people tend to gain a couple of extra pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

The good news is that consumers are demanding more nutritious options when they fly -- and the industry is responding, says Renate DeGeorge, director of culinary services for HMSHost, which operates dining facilities at more than 100 airports worldwide.
In recent years HMSHost has made several changes to its menus, including adding a variety of new salads, offering hummus plates as appetizers and providing whole-grain bread for sandwiches.
"Most places now offer a variety of healthy options no matter where you stop, so that every traveler can find something they are looking for," DeGeorge told CNN.
    Here are five ways you can make sure you eat right while flying this holiday season:

    Have a plan

    You know your departure time, arrival time and the time you'll -- hopefully -- have during a layover. Use that schedule to plan full meals throughout the day.
    A meal often has the same number of calories as many snacks, says Charles Platkin, founder and editor of DietDetective.com. But if you eat a real meal, "you're actually going to get decent nutrition ... and you're going to feel a higher level of being satiated."